Jacksonville High School Baseball
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Orange Park Shocks Clay To Win District 5A-3 Title

The 2024 Distrct 5A-3 champion Orange Park Raiders. *Photo from @OrangeParkHighSchool.

Box Score

There is one guaranteed path to the state regional playoffs, and that is to win the district tournament. Each team that wins its respective district championship earns an automatic berth into the field of teams, and most often serving as the host in the opening round of the state playoffs. Every team has a chance and something to fight for, no matter how things have gone during the regular season.

On Thursday night, the Orange Park Raiders seized the moment to complete an unprecedented run through the District 5A-3 tournament with a 6-0 shutout over the Clay Blue Devils to win the district championship.

The Orange Park Raiders are going to the state playoffs. The Raiders (14-13) travel to face the Lincoln Trojans (15-11) on Tuesday night, in a Region 5A-1 quarterfinal. Lincoln advanced with a 2-0 win over Columbia in the 5A-2 title game.

*Photo from @OrangeParkHighSchool.

Joshua Taylor continued to lead the Raiders, as he delivered a monster game when it was needed the most. The senior right-hander tossed a complete-game shutout on the mound, scattering six hits without issuing any walks and recording five strikeouts. He also went 3-for-3 with an RBI at the plate to back his own cause.

After taking an immediate lead with an unearned run in the top of the first, Orange Park took control with three runs in the third. Aidan Devlin got it started by leading off with a solo home run to left, and Yaziel Del Valle followed with a walk to keep the pressure on. Robert Barrett singled to push Del Valle into scoring position, and Joshua Taylor stroked an RBI double. Devon Moore was next with an RBI single that drove in Barrett, and he also had an RBI single that drove in Tyson Cruz in the seventh.

Taylor was also 3-for-3 on the day, while Cruz went 2-for-4 and scored twice.

Clay also earned a berth into the regional playoffs, and the Blue Devils (19-8) will host the Ponte Vedra Sharks on Tuesday night.

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